What’s the key to flying with happy toddlers? Snacks. Lots and lots of snacks. The ideal treats not only fill up our kids’ bellies, they are easy to pack, don’t require refrigeration, aren’t super messy, and take some time to eat, so they double as an airplane activity. Read on for our favorite airplane snacks for toddlers, plus tips on how to pack, serve and even play with your food.
photo: Hobby Fotografie via Pixabay
Healthy Salty Snacks
- String cheese
- Mini pepperoni
- Olives (pitted)
- Beef jerky sticks
- Sugar snap peas
- Hull-less popcorn
- Cheese crackers
- Hummus with red pepper slices
- Almond butter packets
Snack tips: Show your toddler how to make shapes with the string cheese pieces. Put olives on their fingers and count them. Almond butter packets are a great partner for the pretzels they often serve on flights. Or, pack apple slices or a banana to eat with the almond butter for a filling snack.
photo: Couleur via Pixabay
Healthy Sweet Snacks
- Freeze dried fruit (strawberries and blueberries)
- Dried mangoes
- Apple slices
- Alphabet cereal
Snack tips: Ask your toddler to find different letters in the alphabet cereal. Pack an assortment of sweet treats in a small tackle box and use the compartments to sort colors and shapes of different foods.
photo: Silviarita via Pixabay
Less Healthy Sweet Snacks
- Fruit snacks
- Kid bars (like granola, protein, fruit & oats)
- Yogurt tubes (frozen)
Snack tips: Freeze yogurt tubes at home so they’ll stay cool longer. Have your toddler eat that first so you don’t have to worry about refrigeration—they’re also likely to enjoy the ice creamy texture of a chilled tube. Lollipops at takeoff and landing are a fun tradition with a practical purpose: Swallowing will prevent any ear discomfort.
More Snack Tips
1. Concerned about liquids? TSA will allow you to bring food such as purees through the security checkpoint as long as they are for your child. They are considered “baby food” and are permitted as long as your take them out of your bag for screening.
2. Pack some sandwich baggies with paper towels. The towels can pick up spills, and the baggies make it easier to collect garbage to hand to the flight attendant.
3. Don’t forget to save snacks for the return trip home! Pack a separate resealable bag with snacks for the return trip so you make sure you’re stocked and ready to rock this traveling with toddlers thing.
What are your favorite airplane snacks for toddlers? Let us know in the comments.
— Sarah Blight